Quick English: A Dialog About Shopping and Cost

Going shopping in a place where you are not comfortable speaking the language can be a very stressful experience.

Many people who are otherwise confident speakers have difficulty asking questions in a store, even if they need help.

We have written a dialog to express what you might experience while shopping in English.

Practice this dialog with a friend, if you have the opportunity.

It's cold outside, and you have not dressed warmly enough. You need a new sweater to keep you warm, but you only have twenty dollars ($20).

You: Where can I find the sweaters?
Sales assistant: Our sweaters are in the back, near the jackets. Here, I'll show you.

(The sales assistant may walk you to the sweaters, or they may point.)

If the salesperson does not take you to them, or you do not understand, you can say: 

You: Can you show me where they are?
Sales assistant:  Sure, follow me.

You will probably want to test the sweater to see if it fits you and looks ok. You can ask: 

You: Can I try this on? Where is the fitting room?
Sales assistant:  It's in the corner, in the back.
You: Thank you.

After you try on your sweater, it may not fit you. 

You: Do you have it in another size? This one is too big.
Sales assistant: Let me check in the back.

Sales assistant: Here you go, this is a size medium. How is it?
You: It looks good, thank you. I will take it.

Sometimes, there will be a sale, or maybe the sales tag is confusing. You could ask:

You: How much does this cost?
Sales assistant: I don't know, I'll have to check.

The salesperson will probably go to the counter and look the item up in the computer.

Sales assistant: It's twenty-two dollars. ($22).

Remember, you only have twenty dollars ($20).

You: Is there a discount? (You could also ask about a "student discount")
Sales assistant: Yes, it's twenty percent (20%) off today!

You: Is there any tax?

The sales assistant might say one of the two answers below, depending on where you are. 

Sales assistant: Yes, it is included in the cost.
Sales assistant: Yes, the tax is ten percent (10%). It will be added at the cash register.

You: Thank you, I will take it!
Sales assistant: Ok. Your total is seventeen dollars and sixty cents. ($17.60)

Practicing this dialog will help you when you have questions in a clothing store. What other situations would you like to see explained? Let us know and you could see your suggestions in a future blog post!

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